Multidisciplinary Solutions to Research Challenges

Panelists

  • Laurel Weldon, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Director of the Purdue Policy Research Institute, Purdue University
  • Tom Hickerson, Vice Provost for Libraries and Cultural Resources, University of Calgary
  • Susan Morgan, Associate Provost for Research Development and Professor of Communication, University of Miami
  • Kelly Miller, Associate Dean for Learning and Research Services, University of Miami Libraries

 

About the Panel

On March 9, 2018, University of Miami Libraries (UML) and the Office of the Provost co-sponsored an event featuring a panel of speakers with a broad and deep knowledge of interdisciplinary research approaches. Professor Laurel Weldon and Vice Provost Tom Hickerson each serve as principal investigators on projects funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation involving the formation of multidisciplinary research teams focused on a set of challenges or problems that have been selected as a point of focus at the institutional level. An aspect of the multidisciplinary work at Purdue and Calgary is the partnership between each research team and one or more library specialists. The background, impetus, current status, and findings of these initiatives is presented and discussed by the panel. Associate Vice Provost Susan Morgan and Associate Dean Kelly Miller present an overview of U-LINK at the University of Miami and explore its library engagement component.

 

About U-LINK

The University of Miami is embarking on a series of initiatives that comprise the Roadmap to Our New Century—a course for UM’s future across geographic, cultural, and intellectual borders. These initiatives will enhance the University’s passion for scholarly excellence, spirit of innovation, respect for including and elevating diverse voices, and commitment to tackling the challenges facing our world. The theme of “interdisciplinary inquiry” has unified teams of scholars from multiple disciplines in collaborative, problem-based research to address the complex challenges of society through two principles: geography and problems.

The UM Laboratory for INtegrative Knowledge (U-LINK) specifically addresses problems, and the unique points of view and tools that UM Libraries bring to these problems help provide ways of thinking that enhance the research teams’ productivity. UML is fostering this initiative by creating dedicated spaces in the Louis Calder Memorial Library, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science Library, and Otto G. Richter Library to facilitate the on-going work of U-LINK teams.



UML Welcomes Elizabeth “Liz” Gushee

Elizabeth “Liz” Gushee, UML’s new associate dean for Digital Strategies.

University of Miami Libraries (UML) will welcome Elizabeth “Liz” Gushee as the new associate dean for Digital Strategies in September 2018. Ms. Gushee comes to us from the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas (UT), Austin, where she has served since 2011 as head of Digital Collections Services. At the Ransom Center she is responsible for planning, leading, and coordinating the work of staff engaged in access initiatives for born-digital and digitized collection material, digital preservation and stewardship, and digitization. Her accomplishments at the Ransom Center include: grew the Digital Collection Services Department from one to five staff plus student workers; chaired and lead implementation of a digital assets management system across four university departments; developed and directed Project REVEAL (a privately-funded initiative designed to digitize and place entire literature collections online).

While at the Ransom Center, Ms. Gushee took the lead in developing an open access policy for the Ransom Center collections. She also served as a member of “DH@UT:  Building a Digital Humanities Ecosystem for Innovative Research in the Liberal Arts,” a cross-campus effort among the UT Austin libraries, archives, technology units, and the College of Liberal Arts to build an infrastructure and associated services for digital humanities work, including planning for establishing an Institute for Digital Studies.

Throughout her career, Ms. Gushee has successfully pursued and executed several grant-funded initiatives including an Institute of Museum and Library Services/Texas State Library and Archives grant involving digitization of the works of artist Frank Reaugh, and a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) grant involving cataloging and digitization of the literary works of the Nobel Laureate Gabriel García Márquez. Prior to her role at the University of Texas, Ms. Gushee worked at the University of Virginia Library where she served both as digital collections librarian and as the University of Virginia’s first digital archivist. In the latter role she worked on a Mellon Foundation grant, providing leadership among the cohort of digital archivists from the four partner institutions to develop a framework for collecting, organizing, preserving, and delivering born-digital special collection materials.

During 2014 Ms. Gushee served on the Ransom Center’s Strategic Plan Leadership Team. She is a 2016 graduate of the Leading Change Institute sponsored by CLIR and EDUCAUSE.

Ms. Gushee brings to her work a track-record of innovation, strategic thinking, project completion, program development, and collaboration within and beyond the libraries. These talents will serve her and the University of Miami well as she begins her work as the next Associate Dean for Digital Strategies.



uSearch: New and Improved

The new version of uSearch, the online system for discovering and accessing library materials, is now live for all University of Miami Libraries. The new interface has a cleaner look, is optimized for use on phones and tablets, and gives access to more information with fewer clicks: http://search.library.miami.edu/

Learn about key features and how to use the new uSearch: https://sp.library.miami.edu/subjects/u2

Search results and rankings have not changed. Additionally, any saved items or saved searches in uSearch will be available in the new interface.

We want to hear from you! If you have any comments or concerns about the new uSearch, please send us your feedback: https://library.miami.edu/usearch-problem-report/



The Digital Production Lab | Headquarters for Pan Am’s Digital Archive

Left to right: Manager of Digital Production Veronica Cabrera uses a bound copy of Clipper Magazine from the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records to review best scanning practices with student assistant Corey Fehlberg.

By Cory Czajkowski

A few steps beyond the main elevator on the third floor of the Otto G. Richter Library is a generic looking door numbered 346. Despite its ordinary exterior, this door leads to an extraordinary workspace known as the Digital Production Lab (DPL), where skilled imaging specialists convert a wide variety of traditional library materials into digital formats, including printed books, journals, photographs, maps, manuscripts, fine art, and more.

The faculty, staff, and student assistants of the DPL represent an evolving circulation system that has become a prevailing focal point in the University of Miami Libraries’ (UML) mission to open worlds. In this case, rather than simply delivering printed, physical materials to library patrons in-person, the Lab instead offers local and distant users free access to digital surrogates that span the Libraries’ vast collections and strengthen the foundations of teaching, learning, and research at the University. Perhaps most importantly, the DPL’s expert team ensures the long-term preservation of UML’s unique digital content for future generations of scholars.

For the past 1.5 years, the Lab has fittingly served as the heart of operations for the digitization of materials from the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records under a grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission. Whether scanned in-house or off-site, the DPL acted as both the starting point and finish line for 60 boxes of brochures, timetables, directories, and periodicals from the Printed Materials series of the Pan Am collection—an archive that documents the history of the largest international air carrier in the United States for more than six decades. The combined efforts have since added over 100,000 new images to UML’s Digital Collections, where they are full-text searchable and available for browsing and research.

Interim Associate Dean for Digital Strategies & Head of Digital Production Laura Capell worked with Digitization Project Manager Gabriella Williams to manage the complex workflows involved with preparing the Pan Am boxes for either of two scanning destinations: in-house with the DPL team, or off-site at Creekside Digital, a leading digitization vendor based in Glen Arm, Maryland.

“For a project of this scale, one of the first considerations was the groundwork laid by our staff and students to carefully record each box item-by-item, while maintaining the original order of the folders and verifying the information listed for each document was complete and accurate,” says Capell. “All 60 boxes were assigned specific digitization instructions for each individual item, which we call ‘technician’s notes’, to help make sure our team and the vendor were on the same page, so to speak.”

Imaging specialists in the Lab use a variety of equipment to digitally preserve materials from UML’s collections.

For in-house scanning, the staff and students of the DPL employed a variety of specialized imaging equipment designed for a wide range of formats. Former Digital Production Technician David Almeida captured high quality images of Pan Am newsletters with the DigiBook SupraScan and used the Atiz BookDrive Pro for smaller bound objects, such as Clipper Magazine, one of the airline’s in-flight publications. Veronica Cabrera, manager of Digital Production, was responsible for the grant’s file management and the Lab’s color calibration, ensuring digital surrogates had the highest level of quality and accessibility.

Additionally, Cabrera supervised the work of two assistants—UM students who have since become fascinated with the records of the former aviation giant. Corey Fehlberg, a sophomore in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, performed quality control reviews of the outsourced Clipper Magazine. He inspected the gutters, or inside margins, of the bound periodical and brochure images produced by Creekside Digital to make sure no information was lost during scanning, ensured that all technical image specifications were met, and verified that the technician’s notes were accurately followed. “The quality control work required my undivided attention, and the experience has taught me to look at the materials from a researcher’s perspective, which has been both challenging and rewarding,” says Fehlberg. Daniel Correa-Manzor, a sophomore studying computer science, assisted with the in-house scanning of selected Pan Am materials. “As an undergrad, it’s incredible to have the opportunity to handle and be a part of the long-term preservation of the archive,” says Correa-Manzor. “It’s fun to imagine that someday my grandchildren will be able to view the work I did as a student under this grant.”

UML welcomed new Digital Production Technician John Hay earlier this year. Hay has been collaborating with Robert Largaespada, a long-time DPL technician who has worked on several grant-funded digital projects. “It’s great to be a part of a team of like-minded individuals at the DPL,” says Hay. “Working with materials on the history of aviation and Florida is exciting. I feel privileged to be a part of the expansion of new approaches to digitization.”

The culmination of these efforts has resulted in the extensive archive of digital images representing Pan Am’s Printed Materials series. The complete digital collection is now available to the public on the University of Miami Libraries’ Digital Collections web site.

Photos by Brittney Bomnin and Gisele Rocha

Left to right: Digital Production Technicians Robert Largaespada and John Hay perform quality control checks on scanned documents from the Pan Am collection.





Mainly Mozart Festival 2018

Charles D. Eckman, Ph.D.
Dean of Libraries, University of Miami

Produced by the Miami Chamber Music Society, the Mainly Mozart Festival is one of the most beloved and respected chamber music series in Miami, consistently presenting exceptional classical artists to the South Florida community.

The University of Miami Libraries are thrilled to have the honor of hosting the 25th anniversary season of the Mainly Mozart Festival. This year all regular season concerts and lectures will take place at the beautiful new Kislak Center at the University of Miami. In addition to its dazzling architecture, the Kislak Center was built to meet acoustical requirements for musical performances and provides state of the art audio-visual technology.

I look forward to welcoming you to the Kislak Center, a place of learning and discovery for the entire community, and to celebrate the 25th anniversary season of the Mainly Mozart Festival.

About the Kislak Center

At the heart of UM’s Coral Gables campus, a former lecture hall has been renovated and transformed into a place of learning and discovery to benefit the entire community: the Kislak Center at the University of Miami. Established with a landmark gift to the University of the Jay I. Kislak Collection of the Early Americas, Exploration and Navigation, the Center houses the departments of Special Collections and University Archives and features a grand reading room in which to serve researchers and visitors from anywhere in the world. The Center hosts public programming for the University’s centers, institutes, schools, colleges, and libraries during the evening and weekend hours, and the gallery showcases items from the vaults of these distinctive collections. Learn more.





Five Partners Join Ex Libris in Developing New Research Services Platform

Ex Libris®, a ProQuest company, is pleased to announce the establishment of a development partnership with Lancaster University, the University of Iowa, the University of Miami, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Sheffield. The partners will collaborate on the development of a new end-to-end research services platform, Ex Libris Esploro. This development program will give the partners a significant voice in shaping Esploro and its future roadmap, as well as an opportunity to engage with other development partners and the community of researchers. Continue reading.



CHC Research Colloquia 2017-2018: Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellows Speak on their Research

The Cuban Heritage Collection’s 2017-2018 Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowship Research Colloquia kicks off in August with several talks by researchers who will be describing their works in progress.

​Colloquia are scheduled for 3 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Held at the Elena Díaz-Versón Amos Conference Room in the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion on second floor of the Otto G. Richter Library, these events are free and open to the public.

  • Tuesday, August 1
  • John Ermer, Florida International University (History)
    The Lebanese Mahjar in Cuba
  • Asiel Sepulveda, Southern Methodist University (Art History)
    City Impressions: Frédéric Mialhe and the Making of Nineteenth-Century Havana
  • Thursday, August 3
  • Lilianne Lugo Herrera, University of Miami (Modern Languages and Literatures)
    Transnational Black Bodies: Caribbean Perspectives on the Theater of the Cuban Diaspora
  • Thursday, August 10
  • Rodrigo Del Rio, Harvard University (Romance Languages and Literatures)
    Cuban Urban Imaginaries: Writing the City on the Verge of Revolution
  • Tuesday, August 15
  • Alberto Sosa Cabanas, Florida International University (Modern Languages)
    Racism, Celebration and Otherness: Depictions of Blackness in the Cuban Cultural Discourse (1790-1959)
  • Tuesday, August 22
  • Catherine Mas, Yale University (History, Program in the History of Science and Medicine)
    The Culture Brokers: Medicine, Anthropology, and Transcultural Miami, 1960-1990
  • Wednesday, October 11
  • Corinna Moebius, Florida International University (Global and Sociocultural Studies)
    Transnational Racial Politics of Public Memory and Public Space in Little Havana’s Heritage District
  • Friday, December 15
  • Rosanne Sia, University of Southern California (American Studies and Ethnicity)
    Performing Fantasy in Motion: The Hemispheric Circulation of Women Performers, 1940-1960
  • William Kelly, Rutgers University (History)
    Revolución es [Re]construir: Housing Policy and Everyday Life in the Cuban Revolution, 1959-1989

Learn more about the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships »



FIU, UM Join Statewide Effort to Raise Florida Presence in National Online Library

Sunshine State Digital Network Helps Organizations Around State Enlarge Access to their Digitized Collections

Souvenir of Miami, Miami Beach, Florida

Souvenir of Miami, Miami Beach, Florida from the University of Miami Special Collections.

Cultural, historical, and educational institutions throughout South and Central Florida can now share their digitized holdings with people across the United States and around the world with guidance from librarians and digital strategists at Florida International University (FIU) and the University of Miami (UM).

The two universities have partnered with Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee, FL, to create the Sunshine State Digital Network (SSDN), which serves as the state’s administrative and infrastructure portal to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

The Boston-based DPLA is a public, open-source platform that connects users to digitized art works, artifacts, archival documents, and other materials from organizations ranging from modest community historical societies to massive cultural institutions. Assets contributed by Florida organizations to DPLA are displayed in search results alongside those from many other collections, fostering learning, research, tourism, business, and other endeavors.

The shared network roles of FIU and UM will be to help South and Central Florida organizations make sure that the metadata—information such as title, description, and copyright status—of each item in their collections conforms to DPLA standards. FIU and UM then transmit the optimized digital files to the SSDN hub at FSU, which gathers and prepares the files for quarterly “harvesting,” or uploading, by the DPLA. FIU and UM also collaborate with the SSDN on efforts to facilitate and expand the representation of Florida institutions in the rapidly growing national research resource.

“DPLA and SSDN offer a tremendous opportunity to share the depth and richness of our state’s digital collections,” said Anne Prestamo, Dean of Libraries at FIU. “We look forward to advising and assisting libraries, museums, and archives throughout South and Central Florida to fully leverage that potential.”

“Through SSDN, we are making it possible for archives, libraries, museums, and other collections across the state to publish their unique holdings on a global platform,” said Charles Eckman, Dean of University of Miami Libraries and University Librarian. “It’s all about fostering discovery and innovation through enhanced access, which is central to our mission and vision.”

By presenting search results aggregated from diverse sources, DPLA also creates new options and experiences for site visitors. “When people see items from Florida troves intermingled with those from other contributors, they are able to make novel connections that would have been extremely difficult to make otherwise,” said Sarah Shreeves, associate dean of digital strategies at UM Libraries.

“The community at large benefits from this increased ability to engage with cultural and historical content across multiple institutions,” noted Jamie Rogers, director of FIU’s Digital Collection Center.

Since FIU and UM have already uploaded a significant portion of their own digital collections to DPLA, the two universities are now prioritizing efforts to grow the number of Florida organizations participating in the initiative. A November series of introductory SSDN workshops attracted representatives from more than 30 public libraries, museums, academic libraries, library cooperatives, and other cultural heritage institutions.

Greater Miami: Guide Book and History to The Magic City

Greater Miami: Guide Book and History to The Magic City from the University of Miami Special Collections.

In addition to outreach and orientation, metadata experts at FIU Libraries and UM Libraries provide interested organizations with hands-on assistance as needed. Initial development of the universities’ SSDN planning, training, and metadata evaluation procedures was supported by a grant from the Knight Foundation.

SSDN goals for 2018 include bringing the State Library and Archives of Florida into the DPLA fold while mentoring the many smaller organizations, both public and private, that seek to share their digital holdings on DPLA.

DPLA is completely open to public and can be visited at dp.la. Items in its collections can be located via a standard search query, maps, timelines, or in special exhibitions, as well as through an array of independently developed extensions that allow highly customized searches.

To learn more about the SSDN, visit sunshinestatedigitalnetwork.org or explore the collections on the dp.la site.